Head On (video game)

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Head On
Head On screenshot
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Sega/Gremlin
Platform(s) Arcade
  • INT: April 1979
Genre(s) Driving, maze
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Sega VIC Dual
CPU Zilog Z80 clocked at 1.93356 MHz
Sound Amplified Mono (one channel)
Display Raster, 256 × 224, horizontal orientation

Head On is an arcade game released in 1979 by Sega. Cars continuously drive forward through rectangular channels in a simple maze. At the four cardinal directions are gaps where a car can change lanes. The goal is to collect dots in the maze while avoiding collisions with the computer-controlled car that is also collecting dots. It's the first maze game where the goal is to eat dots, and Head On is considered a precursor to Namco's 1980 hit Pac-Man.[1]

Head On proved a popular concept to clone for home systems. Clones include Car Wars for the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, Killer Car for Spectravideo, Car Chase for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Dodge 'Em for the Atari 2600, Dodge Racer for the Atari 8-bit family, and Tunnels of Fahad for the TRS-80. Konami's Fast Lane arcade game, released in 1987, is Head On with improved graphics and some additional features.

A very similar sequel was released the same year as the original: Head On 2. It was licensed to Nintendo and released as Head On N.[2][3]


Head On was ported to the Commodore 64 in 1982, as well as the Commodore VIC-20, Apple II, and Nintendo Game Boy. The Game Boy port is by Tecmo. Head On later appeared in the Sega Saturn collection Sega Memorial Selection Vol.1 and in the PlayStation 2 collection Sega Ages Vol. 23. A mobile phone exclusive version titled Sonic's Head On was released exclusively in Japan in 2000.


  1. ^ Forgotten Gems of the Maze Chase Genre, The Next Level
  2. ^ Gorges, Florent (2010). The History of Nintendo, Pix'n Love Publishing
  3. ^ "Forgottendo: 10 Nintendo Games You've Probably Never Heard Of". USgamer.net. Retrieved 2016-02-14.